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Mathematics Study Sheet- Finding Slope

Let’s start off with Direct Variation and Non-
Direct Variation.
• Direct Variation- forms a line on the graph that
passes through the origin. Its equation appears in
the form of y= m x. There is no added constant.
Example: GRAPH EQUATION
y= 9x

• Non-Direct Variation- forms a line on the graph
that does not pass through the origin. Its equation
appears in the form of
y= m x + b. There is an added constant.

Example: GRAPH EQUATION

y= 9x+2
Your teacher just gave you 2 points, (3, -1) & (2,
7). She is asking you to write an equation with the
y- intercept using these points. You ask yourself,
how do I do this, the answer is simple. In a y-
intercept equation you have…
Slope

the y coordinate y= m x+
b the y intercept

the x coordinate

You use one of the coordinate pairs given to fill in the
x and y, preferably, the coordinates with only positive
whole numbers. This just makes it that much easier to
solve the equation. Now it’s time to fill in the numbers
you know. In this case x and y. Your equation should
look like…

7=m (2) +b
Great! Now all you need to do is find m and b. Let’s
start with m. To find m you have to use the
coordinates to fill for its formula. Label your given
coordinates. One has pair should be labeled (x1, y1),
and the second should be labeled, (x2, y2). Like this…

X1, y1
(3, -1)
x2, y2 (2, 7)
Now fill in for m=y2-y1x2-x1
Your work should look like this: m=y2-y1x2-x1

m=7--12-3

m=8-1

m=-8

Now you have one more number to fill in for. Now you
should have:

7=-8(2) +b
We have one more number to find out, and it is b. To
find out what b is equivalent to, we have to evaluate
for b. Like so…
7=-8(2) +b
7=-16+b
+16=+16
+ 23=
b b
We now have all the numbers we need. Now leaving
out x and y, fill in the equation y=m x+ b with the
numbers we found. Your final equation should look like
this:

***7=-8x+23***
When given the slope (m) and coordinates (x, y),
all you have to do is fill in an equation in the form
of y= m x+ b with the numbers you are given and
solve for b. When you figure out what b is, do as
we did in the previous problem and only fill in the
m and b in the equation. Here is an example of
how a question like this may look like.
Create an equation where m= 2, and your
coordinates are (1, 8).
***ALWAYS START WITH THE EQUATION OR
FORMULA***
y= m x+ b
8=2(1) +b
8= 2 +b
-2= -2 +b
6= b
So now you know your m and b. That’s great
because that is all you need to fill in the equation.
If you followed the steps your final equation
should look like this:

***y= 2 x+ 6***
A lot of times you will be asked to take an
equation, such as the one before, y= 2x + 6, and
graph it. There are 2 things you need to know in
order to be successful in your graphing. Here they
are:

• Where the y- intercept is located.
• Where the slope is located.

This is how you would locate these 2 terms on an
equation.
y= 2x + 6
the y- intercept
the slope
Unfortunately, in order to be able to be graphed, these
terms need to be changed a little.
• The slope has to be changed into a coordinate.
This is done by putting a 0, in front of the given
slope. The slope in this equation is 2, therefore it
will be changed into (0,2)
• The y- intercept needs to be changed into a
fraction in order to be used as the rise over run.
Since our y- int. is a whole number, it has to be put
over a 1 in order to be converted into a fraction.
The fraction should look like so: 6/1
When given a graph, all you need to do is label (0, 2)
and then use your slope, 6/1 as rise/run. That means
that after labeling the point, you go up six and across
right. When you get to that spot, make it a point, and
connect the points to form a line. Your last step is to
label the line with the equation you used to plot it in
the first place.

HELPFUL TIPS:

➢ Don’t get scared when you see a linear
relationship that seems to be
➢ “backwards”. All this means is that the slope is
negative.
➢ When given a negative slope, take the same steps
you would for a positive slope but only make one
difference, change the quadrant where you plot it
in. Make sure that you plot it where it is supposed
to be.
➢ When given a table and you are told to tell what
the slope is, all you have to do is detect the
difference between x and y. For example if the x
row looks like: 2 I 4 I 6 I, then the change in x is 2,
this is your rise. Now you look at the y row, it
looks like so: 4 I 8 I 12 I, then the change in y is 4.
This is your run. When you put this together, your
rise/run should be 2/4.